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Amy Willis

What year did you begin working at Los Olivos School District?

2003

Where did you attend college and what was your major?

I attended college at UCSB and graduated in 1999 with a degree in Communications. I earned my Clear California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Antioch University in Santa Barbara in 2003 and I obtained my Added Authorization in English from UC Riverside in 2012.

What is your current profession?/ What grades have you taught?

During my time as an AmeriCorps member in Washington DC, I had the opportunity to work with preschool age children. As a student teacher, I was placed in a 4th grade class in Goleta and, later, a 1st grade class in Oxnard. From 2003 – 2012, I taught 3rd grade here at Los Olivos School. In 2012, I moved to middle school and currently teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English.

What are some of your personal hobbies?

I enjoy books (and bookstores), coffee, and time at the beach with my kids. I love concerts, especially Justin Timberlake! Road trips and camping bring my family a lot of joy, particularly when we visit Bend, Oregon, our favorite spot. We love to explore new places on foot and on our mountain bikes! My family also is very entertained by our puppy, Rocky, and we love adventures with him!

What do you love about Los Olivos School District?

For the last 14 years, Los Olivos School has been my second home. My colleagues are my well-respected friends and mentors. I have learned much of what I know about teaching from these fine professionals. The students here inspire me to be my best, to serve them well. The student body is full of such unique individuals and such goodness. I so enjoy my connection with the students and families in this close-knit community. One of my favorite things about Los Olivos is the high likelihood that I will see the familiar faces of current and former Spartans around town. I love that 8th grade graduation isn’t the end of our connection. Students visit years later, and the staff here maintains a bond with the kids, even after they’ve become adults. Los Olivos School is a warm, inviting, beautiful place to spend my days and I continue to be grateful for my experience here.

What is your message to the Los Olivos School Community?

As a middle school English Teacher, my objective is to expose your students to the various facets of this subject matter. I aim to foster an open mind, confidence, voice, an analytical eye, and critical thinking. Not every question has one simple answer. My hope is that students learn this and have no fear in sharing their viewpoint.

I believe that the classroom environment should be academic yet, not intimidating. Expectations are high yet achievable and my confidence in the students’ unique abilities is unwavering. Although I provide the materials and facilitate the discussions, student input is valued and drives my instruction. The student voice matters to me.

I am passionate about what I teach and I strive to ignite student interest in the topics we cover. Not everything in my classroom results in a test but everything does have a purpose.

I believe that all students can succeed but that success will look different for each student. I see it as my job to really know my students and be a supporter of their growth. I look forward to each year with the students here at Los Olivos School and will do my best to deliver content in a way that is meaningful and memorable.